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Much of the history that we know of at present has been written about or told by people from a different era. We can only follow it or try to trace it back, however, no matter how much we debate over it, we would never be able to confirm which part of it is real and which part comes from legend. Delhi is a city of many such tales as the city has seen so much in such little time. One such tale is of Razia Sultan, the first and last woman sultan of the seat of Delhi.
Razia's Character Sketch
One can compare Razia to the urban woman as she was brave, shrewd, futuristic and smart in her dealings. She succeeded her father Shams-ud-Din Iltutmish of the slave dynasty, in 1236. She believed in equality and changed the method of education of the day, making it compulsory for schools to teach Hindu works in all fields. According to many historians, she used to dress like a man in her fort; handled all political and religious matters very courageously and cleverly. She was in love with one of her advisors who was an Afro-Indian and was killed by her future husband due to hatred and jealousy. She was later brutally massacred in 1240 AD as part of her own brother’s conspiracy.
Bone Of Contention
Picture Credits: Rippy Bedi
There remains a lot of debate over the location of her real tomb. Some say it’s in Kaithal, where she was assassinated, while others say it’s in Old Delhi and built by her own brother. To understand this historical dispute and to pay tribute to this wonder-woman of the medieval age, come visit Old Delhi.
The Precise Location
The location of her tomb is as complicated as the various layers of an onion, as there are so many ways to arrive to the nearest location to this tomb but only one way to reach the exact spot. The area surrounding this tomb is called Pahari Bhojla and Bulbul-i-Khana; the nearest landmark being Turkman Gate which can be reached by taking a metro till Chawri Bazar Metro Station and then hire a rickshaw. From there, the assistance of several messiahs will be required for directions!
A Maze In Itself
It’s a one-time experience moving through these dark and dingy alleys as even the people here seem strange and from a different period altogether. Even the animals are butchered right in front of your eyes and fried till crisp. Most of the small dhabas here serve Mughlai food the same way as it used to be served hundreds of years ago. The path becomes narrower as you move further towards the grave and before you know it, you’ve reached your destination - the tomb/gravestone of Razia Sultan. You would hardly come across any living soul around this grave; it’s only during namaaz that people flock to this place.
After sitting here for some time, you would wonder if people don’t visit this place on account of its eerie surroundings or because they think it’s a waste of time to come all the way just to see two stone graves; however, you have to realize that it never was the place that interested and inspired, but the gleaming history behind it!
Come on over if you’d like to touch a piece of history that was brave, courageous and beat all kinds of medieval odds!
Where | Razia Sultan’s Tomb - Near Turkman Gate, Chandni Chowk